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Struggling with Running Slow

As I progress as a runner, one of the tings I tend to struggle with is running slowly.  I’ve done enough reading on training to know that I should be doing the majority of my runs at an easy pace.  However, actually putting that into practice is a bit more difficult.

For example, I went out today with the intention of running an easy 3 miles, followed up by some core exercises.  For me right now, that should be about a 10:30/mile pace.  However, I went out and pushed a little bit harder than that, going out at 10:08 for the first mile and then pushing under 10:00/mile for the next two.  Now, that’s not too much faster, and not uncomfortable for me, but it’s faster than I should be going.  Yet, it’s almost exactly how fast I want to run.

That’s right, I want to go faster than I should be going.  I want to be running faster, and I am getting faster.  And, in my mind, the way to keep getting faster is to keep pushing it faster…each and every time.

Yet, I also know that’s not how it works…it makes for a bit of a conundrum and challenge.

I know I could spend more time checking my watch to make sure I don’t go too fast.  Or I could focus on my breathing to make sure I’m staying at a conversational pace.  I think I’d trend towards the latter, even if I might freak out a bit if I came in much slower than I had hoped.

Anyone else have any suggestions on how to keep easy runs in that 65% effort zone?

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  1. Definitely a tough one … for me, what I find works is that during the week I try to just relax and go. Since I am out the door by 4:30AM I can let my mind wander and keep the pace easy, and focus on my pacing runs on the weekend.

    And that works well in the winter, but once it warms up I will have to stay on top of it, because I get energized and want to just GO!

    I know some watches have ‘pace zones’, but that sounds like an expensive solution!

  2. Greg Nilsen Greg Nilsen

    I do try to relax, but that often makes me think “hey, this feels easy, so I should try going faster”, or it just doesn’t feel as hard as it is.

    I’ve thought about looking for that feature on my watch, but am a bit concerned with setting it incorrectly or to test myself more than I know I should even before I get out the door.

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